Campaign against GIRFEC, data theft and a state guardian for every child


Kids told named person is ‘head gardener’ of their lives

How are your 'gardening' skills? School kids were encouraged to imagine Scotland as a garden, with each child as a special plant growing within it. They were told that “all the adults in their lives” are “Gardeners”, and the Named Person is the “Head Gardener”


When you speak to people about the Named Person scheme, their concerns often boil down to one central point: it undermines the role of parents.

Despite clumsy attempts by politicians to reassure them, ordinary mums and dads remain alarmed by the prospect of a state guardian with legal responsibility for overseeing their own child’s happiness.

Planting ideas

You would think, in light of these concerns, supporters of the scheme might avoid anything which conjures up notions of the ‘Nanny State’ or ‘Big Brother’.

But – alas – no…

When the Named Person legislation was being considered in 2012, the Children’s Parliament spoke with over 100 children at schools across Scotland.

Head Gardener

To help pupils understand the Bill, they encouraged them to imagine Scotland as a garden, with each child as a special plant growing within it. They were told that “all the adults in their lives” are “Gardeners”, and the Named Person is the “Head Gardener”.

It’s a bizarre analogy. Yet the phrase was readily endorsed by the Government in its summary of children’s responses to the Bill. (By the way, some of the kids themselves weren’t easily fooled. Read their comments here.)

All adults ‘share the duty’

To quote directly from the Children’s Parliament consultation document:
The children identified that all adults – family members and professional people – have and share equally a duty to make sure all children are healthy, happy and safe.

“All adults…share equally”? What information were these children given to make them think the duty on a teacher or GP or friend – or Named Person – is ‘equal’ to that of their own parents?

Do you think a Named Person has equal responsibility with you to “make sure” your child is “healthy, happy and safe”?

When advocates of Named Persons talk in this kind of unguarded way, they confirm the suspicions of those who think the Named Person will become a kind of co-parent.

In fact, it’s worse than that. Because if parents are just one “gardener” among many, and the Named Person is the “Head Gardener”, its quite clear who is ultimately in charge.


Grandparents leading 'urgent' election charge against SNP's state guardians

Ruth Davidson: Grandparents leading 'urgent' election charge against SNP's state guardians

In an interview with the Telegraph, she said many families were unaware of the Named Person scheme when the election campaign started a month ago but it is now the issue on the doorstep that inflames the most passion and outrage – even more so than independence.

She said that grandparents are particularly furious that their sons and daughters are being subjected to “state snoopers”, when they were not, and pledged the Scottish Tories would immediately demand the scheme be brought back before parliament if they succeed in becoming the main opposition party.

Ms Davidson disclosed David Cameron’s disbelief and bewilderment when he was briefed about the Named Person scheme, with the Prime Minister asking: “Why on earth would you do such a thing? How could you do such a thing? Are you kidding me?’”
Rank hypocrisy from Cameron, whose government is pushing through the IP Bill and Prevent, as well as sending 'troubled families' off to Stepford for parental re-programming.

SNP ministers argue the measure is needed so potential cases of abuse are spotted early but Ms Davidson cited police warnings it will take longer to remove vulnerable children from their abusers, and claims the scheme will undermine trust between parents and health workers.

She said: “A lot parents are very outraged but it really upsets grandparents - this idea that their son or daughter is going to have a state snooper that they didn’t have, that they are going to have somebody looking over their shoulder about how to raise their families.

“There’s a real sense of unfairness that their son or daughter is going to be subjected to something that they weren’t.”

She said parents who were unaware of the scheme when the campaign start “can’t believe” what the SNP is planning or comprehend “why on earth would you want to do it”. “They feel themselves quite personally violated by this,” she added.


Named person campaign warns of army of snoopers

At least one home educator in Scotland has been reported by a housing officer (ignorant of education law) to a Named Person for allegedly home educating her child 'without permission', while several others have been maliciously referred to the Children's Reporter for exercising a lawful choice to educate by other means (or even just thinking about it in a few cases), so it's high time this orchestrated covert state surveillance was picked up by the mainstream media.


Although the Govt seems to be rapidly running out of apologists, grave robbing remains the favourite tactic of the rock steady crew, as demonstrated in the Herald:

Named person campaign warns of army of snoopers, as defenders of scheme condemn 'inflammatory nonsense'

OPPONENTS of the plans to appoint a named person for every child in Scotland have claimed an "army" of GPs, housing officers and charities will spy on families when the law comes into force in August.

However, one of Scotland’s leading social workers condemned the warnings as "inflammatory nonsense", while the head of children’s charity Barnardo’s said campaigners had got it wrong.

Quoting minutes from meetings in 2012 and 2013, the No to Named Persons (No2NP) campaign said a "named person implementation board" had revealed Government plans to use GPs, housing officers and charities to invade the privacy of families when the scheme is implemented.

Simon Calvert, spokesman for NO2NP, said the details of the board’s work were "horrifying" and added: “Implementing these plans would take a battering ram to the front door of every house in the country. The Government has got to get its head around the simple fact that families just do not want an invasion force of state-sponsored snoopers gathering data on their private lives.”
Mr Crewe added: “The comments around battering rams and state-sponsored snoopers are unhelpful as all responsible agencies are concerned with how best to support children, families and young people.”

Alistair Gaw, president of Social Work Scotland, which represents Scotland’s social work chiefs [and Common Purpose graduate, motto 'leading beyond authority'], said of Mr Calvert’s comments: “This is inflammatory nonsense. The proposals for named persons have been scrutinised at every turn and the aim of the named person is to reduce the need for state intervention, by acting early to protect our most vulnerable children.
Lets's see what the Supreme Court has to say as so far it has been the only scrutineer of this totalitarian piece of legislation while parents were kept in the dark and parliament misled. The collusion between the govt, 'children's charities' and ICO to abolish the need for consent to process personal data is there in black and white in the minutes. The Haringey judgement upheld the established threshold (in a blaze of publicity) around the same time, which should have given them cause to reflect, but they continued to assure practitioners they could do what they liked with children's and associated adults' information without them even knowing about it (as the Maureen Falconer training video demonstrates).

Notable mention for HEF in the Scotsman: Named person plan ‘may involve GPs and housing officers’

The Home Education Forums, which support the No to Named Persons (NO2NP) campaign, have analysed detailed documentation from the board meetings.

One document suggests that Ms Campbell was keen to involve GPs, even though doctors were reluctant to breach patient confidentiality.

The document, dated February 2013, said: “Issues with GPs, due to their structures and contracts… The minister was keen that more work with GPs was done to break the barriers.”

Another document mentioned the role that could be played by housing officers. Dated March 2012, it said: “importance of linking in with housing personnel was also raised, as they are often the only ones going into a house”.

Nearly a year later, another document said: “working with housing was very productive as they had access to information and were supportive”.
Story is also in today's Scottish Express: Anger as SNP plans to recruit state guardians for EVERY child to SPY on Scottish parents

Documents from an expert steering group set up to oversee the Named Person scheme reveal ministers hope to recruit "snoopers" across the public and voluntary sector.

They show GPs, housing officers and those working for good causes as part of the drive to monitor families across the country.
"The board agreed that it gave its strongest encouragement that information sharing across boundaries and with the third sector should be included in local solutions."

A further document notes GPs' reluctance to breach patient confidentially but Children's Minister Aileen Campbell "was keen that more work with GPs was done to break the barriers".
And here's the Mail's version:

The Telegraph:

A reminder of the timeline to abolishing the consent threshold...



Propaganda packs for parents

Panic and desperation have set in as a full-on parent 'information' pack is being rushed through by the government (funded by the taxpayer) to prop up the failing propaganda campaign on the named person scheme, now fully exposed as a universal citizen surveillance project reliant on data mining by an army of Snooperati from public services, the third sector and anyone at all who works with children and families. As the NO2NP petition approaches 30000 signatures, the government is using our money to shout the same old Newspeak message in a last ditch bid to get parents to understand it (a bit like the Brit tourist abroad who is unable to communicate with the natives and resorts to shouting ever louder at them, in English). Maybe they should have been upfront about their GIRFEC named person scheme instead of blatantly mis-selling it as a child protection policy to gain popular support, all the while deliberately concealing the intrusive, data mining, state outcome-driven agenda behind it as they were quietly 'embedding' the culture change among 'professionals' (as the public may not like it). [Ref: GIRFEC Board minutes, Nov 2012]

The Telegraph was first off the blocks: SNP plans PR campaign to convince angry parents about state guardians

SNP ministers have drawn up “emergency” plans for a public relations campaign to “salvage” their proposals to assign every child a state guardian amid a growing rebellion from parents, campaigners have said.

No To Named Persons (NO2NP) disclosed the contents of an email sent by a Scottish Government communications manager on Monday this week that said civil servants are planning a “coordinated national public information campaign” targeted at children and parents.

The email said the taxpayer-funded campaign will aim to help mothers and fathers understand the state guardian scheme, and civil servants are producing a “Parent Information Pack” to be distributed to health visitors, nurseries and schools.
The campaign group published the email, which was sent on April 25 by a communications manager working on the Scottish Government’s Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) programme to her colleagues working on the Named Persons scheme.

She wrote:
“The Scottish Government is planning a coordinated national public information campaign targeted at children, young people, parents [note how children are to be directly targeted, as with the inappropriate school 'surveys', SHANARRI singalongs and pro-GIRFEC propaganda], and those who work with and have frequent contact with them [including taxi drivers].

“The objective of the campaign is to help the public, particularly parents, develop their understanding of GIRFEC and the Named Person service by equipping the people who work with them on a regular basis to engage with them and answer their questions.” [using sound bites approved by the Ministry of Truth]

She said that the parent pack would be distributed in hard copy form to health visitors, local health services, nurseries, schools and some third sector service organisations. There will also be a digital version available.

Although she did not set out the content in detail, she said they would include “have straightforward factual information to hand to facilitate one-to-one conversations” and said people who work with children are being invited to test them next week to ensure they are “fit for purpose.” [suitably spun]
From the Scotsman: Campaigners blast government’s Named Person pack for parents

The Scottish Government is to draw up a Parent Information Pack to promote its controversial named person scheme, it has emerged.

Campaigners against the legislation yesterday claimed the pack showed ministers have “hit the panic button” as they try to sell the scheme to a sceptical public.
From the comments, 'sceptical' is an understatement. Meanwhile this is (still) the best the apologists can muster:

“The named person policy is aimed at protecting children’s well-being. [using 222 risk indicators and 300+ outcome signifiers, interpreted subjectively by non specialists, because wellbeing is not defined in legislation and the consent/intervention threshold has already been de facto abolished, despite the Data Protection Act being reserved legislation]

“It is about supporting, not diminishing, the role of parents. [so the named person sold to young children as their'head gardener' is not diminishing the role of their mere tattie howking parents?]

“The policy is widely supported by [cheer]leading children’s charities :cheer2: and welfare organisations [all of which have been bought and sold for GIRFEC gold in the form of very large govt grants and stand to profit from data theft and providing interventions], as well as by the Scottish Police Federation – who say it will ‘help keep children safer’ [directly contradicting the views of Police Scotland who have expressed concerns about the scheme compromising child safety because vulnerable children are already being missed due to a shift in focus] – and has also been been upheld by the highest court in Scotland [whose judges resisted a register of judicial interests with support from the First Minister and whose Lord President was also appointed by the First Minister], including a ruling which said the policy had ‘no effect whatsoever on the legal, moral or social relationships within the family’.”[having ignored all evidence from victims to the contrary]


NO2NP letter in Herald

Simon Calvert of NO2NP in the Herald today, responding to vested interest named person cheerleaders, Messrs Gaw & Crewe (anyone notice how quiet Highland Bill and Aileen Also have been lately?): State guardian scheme risks taking the focus away from vulnerable children

ALISTAIR Gaw, president of Social Work Scotland, and Martin Crewe, director of Barbardo’s Scotland (“Fears over named person proposal”, The Herald, April 28), cannot hide from the fact that those implementing the Named Person scheme want GPs, housing officers, and even firefighters, to feed low-level information on families to the Named Person – information that comes nowhere near the threshold of a child protection or welfare concern.

The Government reaction to NO2NP’s claims was revealing: “We are clear that we want everyone to take responsibility for protecting and promoting children's well-being.” So it’s not just professionals they want to recruit for the Named Person project. It’s everyone.

Mr Crewe sat on the Getting it Right for Every Child (Girfec) Programme Board whose unguarded minutes led to last week’s headlines. He remained part of its implementation support group after the board was disbanded. The minutes of the programme board discuss how to implement the Named Person scheme. Hence, in plain English, it was a Named Person implementation board, whatever Mr Crewe may call it.

Mr Gaw claims the Named Person proposals have been “scrutinised at every turn”. The fact that the public is only now learning about the scheme, and reacting against it very, very strongly, suggests this scrutiny was seriously deficient. Politicians and “experts” don’t always get it right.

Mr Gaw’s claim that the Named Person is about “acting early to protect our most vulnerable children” fundamentally misunderstands the legislation. The word “vulnerable” does not appear. The key concept is “wellbeing” which Government-funded guidance defines as “another word for how happy you are”. So the Named Person is to monitor children’s happiness. This is an almost comically broad concept, wide open to subjective judgements about even the most trivial parenting decisions. Government training tools urge “intervention at even the lowest level of concern”. As the police have repeatedly identified, this risks taking the focus away from vulnerable children, rather than helping them.

Simon Calvert,

“We are clear that we want everyone to take responsibility for protecting and promoting children's well-being.” So it’s not just professionals they want to recruit for the Named Person project. It’s everyone
Well that could backfire.

What's to stop everyone getting involved.?

Feed trivial and inconsequential remarks and informaton to named persons and overload the system with rubbish.

(Child X's sock fell down at 2pm yesterday, child Y looked glum for 5 minutes at midday last thursday) if even a quarter of those worried about NP system did this there would soon be chaos.

It's a ridiculous concept, trying to control and record the happiness of every child. Why not simply ensure that every family has suitable and secure accommodation, and enough money to live on without worrying about paying the bills. The major cause of health and social problems is stress of too little to live on :-(


Drowning out the case for the defence of named persons

Simon Calvert of NO2NP in the Herald today, responding to vested interest named person cheerleaders, Messrs Gaw & Crewe (anyone notice how quiet Highland Bill and Aileen Also have been lately?): State guardian scheme risks taking the focus away from vulnerable children
A pretty lightweight opinion piece on the debacle, making direct reference to Simon's letter, has also appeared in the Herald, written by Named Person apologist journalist Stephen Naysmith.

Drowning out the case for the defence of named persons

The No2 Named Persons campaign has claimed a coup after it was leaked an email describing a new push to answer critics of the project to give every child a single point of contact with services.
The controversy over Named Persons - ever more furiously dismissed by opponents as state snoopers bent on interfering with family life - has driven the Scottish Government to panic measures, according to No2NP.
A junior civil servant's email to colleagues said "the Scottish Government is planning a coordinated national public information campaign".

It added: "The objective ... is to help the public, particularly parents, develop their understanding of Girfec and the named person service." People working with children and families were invited to help test an information pack this week.

It certainly sounded like a PR push for the policy, and understandably so. A very vocal campaign against the policy, backed in elements of the press, has battered the concept so that the prevailing perception of what a named person is is entirely different from what is actually being proposed.

Is the policy of providing every child with a named health visitor or headteacher whose duties include looking out for their welfare a good one? Is flagging up those in need of early intervention a sensible idea?

It may indeed be an unwarranted intrusion into family life. That's assuming cash strapped public services such as social work have the resources to live up to the worst fears of the No2NP campaign.
It might be a foolish use of such resources, stretching already busy workers too far. Or it could be a great idea, making meaningful the rhetoric about helping children before problems escalate.

What is not in doubt is that it has become a public relations nightmare for the Scottish Government.

So attempting to fix that is understandable. It might look like pushing the panic button - although Victoria Quay insiders say such an information campaign was always on the cards. But explaining the scheme better to parents is an obvious move.

It's one the No2NP campaign could welcome, having called for months for parents to be given more information and the policy to be more transparent.

In a laboured reference to the No2NP campaign's reversal at the court of session, spokesman Simon Calvert says the Government is defending the indefensible, having 'lost the trial in the court of public opinion'. But a trial involves hearing arguments from both sides. Why is the vociferous No2NP group so anxious about parents hearing the case for the defence?
Ccommenter Matt Bell makes a better job of examining the issues than the writer of the article:

I am not sure I follow Mr Naysmith's logic here.

While I, too, find some of the rhetoric emerging from the No2NP campaign fairly spectacular, the fact is that this is not a new phenomenon in this field. Indeed, it's pretty common. Last week, the newspaper carried a claim by a spokesperson for NSPCC Scotland that one in five children are abused or neglected. That may be true, it may not be, but I am always sceptical of advocacy groups relying on their own research to make claims such as this. Frankly, sound bites like these do the cause of child protection no good as many people simply do not believe them. By contrast to Mr Naysmith, I think it is good that someone is being vociferous about all this. I have children myself and I think their welfare is worth being vociferous about. I see no evidence that this group - which let's remember includes the hardly subversive Scottish Parent Teacher Council - is 'anxious about parents hearing the case for the defence'. Quite the reverse, in fact.

What saddens me is that this debate is happening now, rather than during the passage of the Bill, when it should have done. Policies such as this should be scrutinised before they are passed into law. That means that the politicians need to ask difficult questions of those advocating them. It is a nonsense that people are only now making a fuss when they did not vote against it when they had the opportunity. It also means that the media should do the same. Poor scrutiny leads to flawed legislation and I fear that is what we are seeing here. It's characteristic of child protection legislation as a whole - people are too scared to raise concerns because they don't want to be cast as being soft on child protection. I would have expected politicians and journalists to be asking about:

1. Costs. Is this the most effective means of tackling the issue for the substantial funds to be committed? More fundamentally, do we actually know how much it is going to cost? I'm not sure we do, other than it is a lot. Mr Naysmith may feel that 'cash strapped public services such as social work' will not have the resources to do what No2NP fear. Indeed, that is one of the principal concerns about the scheme. However, they are simply going to have to find the money from somewhere - it is not optional.
2. Confidentiality. What measures will be put in place to ensure that confidentiality is not breached? How confident can the public be in the context of a system where breaches of confidentiality, such as in the Kulaar case, already seem to happen frequently?
3. Effectiveness. Is it actually going to work? Was the Isle of Man experience due to specific issues in that jurisdiction, or would the same thing happen here, given the significant lowering of the threshold for intervention?
4. Unintended consequences. How is discharging the role of Named Person going to impact a primary school head teacher's role as leader of his/her school, say? I am finding the teaching unions' recent assertion that Named Persons among their membership will not undertake their duties during the school holidays somewhat bizarre. The system will not work if that is the case and they should have spotted this before. As Named Persons are said to have a 'duty of care', what assessment has been made of the cost of litigation when Named Persons fail to discharge that duty of care? What is the impact going to be on parents' and children's trust in Named Persons, teachers, medical professionals and others?
5. Accountability. How is the discharge by Named Persons of their duties to be monitored and malpractice addressed? Because there will be malpractice. One signal that government could give to those with concerns would be to make clear that malpractice will not be tolerated and will result in dismissal - and then to deliver on that in the real world.

These seem to me to be some of the practical questions that need to be answered. But the fundamental underlying issue goes beyond that to matters of principle. What strikes me about many outside the social work/child protection community is how uneasy they are about the system as it is today. Whether it is the high profile failures such as Orkney, individuals' experience of the failings of the system in their own extended families, or the impact of child protection policies on people's willingness to volunteer to work with children in sports clubs or other community groups, I think that what we are seeing in this debate is actually an expression of a wider concern. In other words, it's been a lightning rod for a bigger issue. To take one example, when advocates say that the degree of information sharing will be no greater than it is today, not only do people struggle to believe them, but they also become more concerned about the status quo - are they really doing that NOW? To put it bluntly, many don't think the child protection system as it is in this country is effective and see Named Person as making matters worse, not better. Named Person adds the additional issue of principle as to whether it is proper for the State to be monitoring the way that every family in the country brings their children up. The 'head gardener' concept, though presumably coined by a relatively junior individual in an attempt to explain the system to children, suggests that parents are subordinate to the Named Person. You don't have to be vociferous to think that that's just plain wrong.

The opposition to Named Person may be incorrect, it may be a misunderstanding. But unless legitimate questions are answered openly, unless concerns are genuinely allayed, that suspicion will persist. I can't see a mere PR campaign making any difference; it may actually make things worse. And journalists have a role to play here, testing the arguments and evidence, rather than simply assuming that they are robust and, instead, straying towards advocacy.




It;s getting hard to keep up with the media reports so apologies for being tardy with the updates.

Today's UK Mail has a huge article today written by Neil Tweedie who came to Scotland to interview people and attend a NO2NP roadshow.

The Stasi spying on children: It's an Orwelllian new scheme - a State snooper for EVERY child in Scotland compiling a dossier on their family life... and it has chilling implications for us all

This SNP-inspired ‘McStasi’ is not there simply to stop harm coming to children. Its remit, according to the legislation that has given it life, is to promote child ‘wellbeing’.

In that single, elastic word lies the danger of this project. Because when a Named Person is looking to improve the life of a child, as opposed to saving him or her from abuse and death, there is no end to how he or she may interfere in family life.

Instead of focusing on a few exceptionally vulnerable children, the ‘wellbeing’ test will make every child in Scotland a potential target for official intervention.
Rebecca Cheeseman collided with the Named Person scheme when her daughter became an alleged victim of a crime and a social worker called at her home. It was concluded that her daughter had made up the allegation and there must be some underlying reason, possibly affecting her ‘wellbeing’.

‘We discovered that medical details about my daughter, my husband and me had been shared with the social worker by way of a health visitor,’ she says.

‘The health visitor was the Named Person for my sons and had recorded, among other things, that I had suffered from postnatal depression following the birth of my daughter in 1998, which was wholly irrelevant, as was a remark about my husband’s current health condition.’

The Cheesemans made a complaint and were later vindicated by a council tribunal.

‘They have put us through hell for 18 months and haven’t even apologised,’ Rebecca says. ‘With “wellbeing” as the criteria, anything can trigger one of these behind-the-scenes enquiries.’

Also chilling is the case of a dentist in Aberdeenshire whose staff have been pressured by Named Persons to release information on young patients.

‘These callers are pushing quite hard for information,’ he says. ‘They want to know the date of the last check-up and what level of decay was found, that kind of thing.

‘When we say we need (parental) permission to comply with the request, it often becomes quite aggressive. They say: “You are being deliberately obstructive. You don’t need the parents’ permission any more because we are acting as Named Persons.” ’
Also front page of the Scottish Mail plus editorial comment.



Scottih Review

Alison Preuss on the Named Person scheme: parent licensing by the back door

Special Report by Kenneth Roy in the Scottish Review: Liam Fee, the Scottish Government and an incriminating document

Meanwhile Bill Alexander from Highland has been desperately back pedalling on the BBC, claiming the 'successful' pilot there was voluntary and no data was mined or shared without families' consent in direct contradiction to parents' ongoing experiences.

Swinney is not backing down and in a show of bravado has underlined the Scot Govt's commitment to GIRFEC (i.e. universal data theft and junk prevention science) and the Named Person scheme at a child protection summit in Perth today, attended by all the usual suspects with a vested interest in providing interventions at public expense. He has no choice as they have already committed to flogging off our data to the likes of Lockheed Martin (arms dealing a speciality).

One of the shameless Green hypocrites has also been bleating about the need to ensure every child is equally protected in a fairer Scotland (bullshit Bingo), but she's a bit late after voting to lower the intervention threshold to losing the pat hamster.

It's time for an urgent public inquiry into this shambles, to which all the victims should be invited to give evidence. All the usual suspects should be called to account to parents and children for this shambles.


Supreme Court rules against Named Person scheme

I have not read the whole article yet, however the headline has just made my day :peace:

The first paragraph reads:

Judges at the UK's highest court have ruled against the Scottish government's Named Person scheme.

Opponents of the scheme appealed to the Supreme Court in London after their case was dismissed by the Court of Session in Edinburgh last year.

The system would appoint a named person - usually a teacher or health visitor - to ensure the wellbeing of every child.

Judges say some proposals breach rights to privacy and a family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Elaine Kirk

Super Moderator
This is not entirely relevant to this thread...but then again it is relevant.
I just saw the figure for children in care in England is 70,000.
England has a population of 53.000.000, Scotland has a population of 5.295.000 which is ten per cent of England's population.
Ah yes the relevance of this post, well you would expect Scotland's figure for children in care to be ten per cent of England's i.e. 7.000 but the actual figure is more than double that at 15.000!!.
Just thought that after all the arguments about how successful trials of girfec have been and how they intend to carry on regardless with the program....isn't it alarming that all this early intervention and we have children in care statistics DOUBLE those of England.